Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Name Game: Round Two

Our approach to naming this baby ended up being very different than naming Vander.

We technically had planned to have a list of names and pick one when we met the baby, same as we did for Vander, but that didn't quite work out this time.

Vander's middle name is Scott, which is Dylan's dad's name, so we knew we were going to use Robert for the middle name this time. Robert is my dad's name, but it is also Dylan's maternal grandfather's name and a relative or two on his dad's side as well.

Since we already had Vander's name to work with, it made it easier and harder to find a first name we liked.

We knew we would need to be able to yell "Vander and ___" and have it roll off the tongue easily enough.

We did not want a "V" since I didn't want to have to choose a "V" name for our third child (not that I would have to, I would just feel obligated to have them all match).

We wanted a similarly well rounded name, that would work well for academia, sports and resumes.

According to everyone, including ourselves, we needed something relatively unique like Vander's name. We definitely weren't going to pick a top 50 name this time. Biblical names were off the table like last time.

While people do call Vander "Xander" on occasion, his name is easy to pronounce and spell, so we didn't want anything too complicated.

We started out with some of the names we had liked last time, but none of our "final four" names that we had when we were pregnant with Vander.

I spent about two weeks accumulating names and asking Dylan's opinion. I would write them out on sticky notes at work and in an app in my phone. I was surprised at how many more baby name websites there were this time around!

After about two weeks, I randomly remembered a comment I had made sometime during the previous year and a half. We watched the entire series of How I Met Your Mother since having Vander, and two of the characters are married and their nicknames for each other are Marshmallow and Lilypad, with their actual names being Marshall and Lily. I had told Dylan that if we had another boy I wanted to name him Marshall so we could call him Marshmallow since that was amazingly adorable (please note that the spelling of marshmallow always has been and probably always will be marshmellow, with an e, in my head, so if you see it spelled that way it is technically intentional). Once I remembered this, I asked Dylan what he thought about naming the baby Marshall. He said he definitely liked it and to put it on the list. 

Well I kept coming back to the name Marshall and I really, really liked it. After about a week of still having it as a top contender, I asked my sister about it. I rarely shared any names with anyone last pregnancy, so the fact that I was telling her made it more real. I told her "You have to like the name since I think there is an 80% chance we are going to use it, but what do you think of 'Marshall'?" She said she honestly really liked it! 

After a couple more weeks of sitting on it and not really looking at any other names (besides keeping a general ear open), we decided for Christmas that we could tell our parents. We bought gifts for each set of grandparents (mine and Dylan's parents that is) and signed the name tag "From: Vander and Marshall." We also told them the caveat that we could always change the name, so don't go get anything monogrammed. 

We told Dylan's parents first since we saw them before Christmas. The night after we told them, my mom, sister, mother-in-law and I went to the Melting Pot for a girls' dinner. We ended up talking about names and I ended up saying "The person I generally associate with the name we have in mind is really mellow." My mom immediately says out loud "Mellow...mellow...Marshmellow!" The rest of us all looked at her in shock, since everyone else knew the name at that point. I told her that our name was Marshall and we picked in originally because of the nickname Marshmallow. Only my mom would randomly be able to guess the name of our baby! 

It was really nice to call the baby by it's name the whole second half of the pregnancy. It was nice for us to tell Vander the name too. He kept going to Marshall's room the last couple weeks of the pregnancy and check if Marshall was here yet. 

The week before we had Marshall, I did remind Dylan we could absolutely still change the name when we met him. 

Marshall Robert Otley seemed to fit him just fine though!

I could easily see us going the "pick a name when we meet the baby" route or having a name before next time, so only time will tell!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Marshall's Birth Story

Wednesday March 4, 2015 started with a 5:20 wake up by Vander. Vander hasn't woken up before 6:15 in months and he usually wakes up closer to 7:00. That was my first sign that I was likely going to go into labor.

I had my weekly doctor appointment at 8:30. After updating her on the continued contractions and my overall condition (good, but ready to have this baby!) we talked about next steps. We talked about doing a membrane sweep. This is where the doctor separates the amniotic sac from your cervix with her fingers. If your body is ready to go into labor, this can help encourage labor to start sooner rather than later. People will have their doctors do this in an effort to avoid an induction. She said we were technically a little early at 37 weeks 5 days, but she would do it if I wanted. She felt very comfortable that my body and the baby were ready for labor and delivery. I decided to go ahead and have her do it. It is a quick process and is a little uncomfortable but really not bad. Afterwards I was at 4 centimeters and my doctor and I said we would see each other that night or the next day to have a baby!

I went in to work and was totally calm and comfortable all morning and had no cramping or anything from the sweep that morning. I told my work that I was likely going into labor that day since I had the sweep done. The contractions started at 12:30 and by around 1:30 they were coming regularly at 5-6 minutes apart for about a minute. I texted Dylan that I would be leaving within the hour and left around 2:15. I drove myself home and put the last couple items in our hospital bag. Since my dad was staying with Vander that night I cleaned up a little bit while waiting for Dylan to meet me and drive us to the hospital.

We checked in to the hospital at 3:30. It was probably close to 5:00 before we were fully admitted but there wasn't really any question we were staying. My contractions were definitely getting stronger. I was at 5 centimeters. when they checked me. At about 5:30 they started me on penicillin, since I had the Group B Strep bacteria again, which is a very common thing to have, but they don't want the baby to get it during delivery.  They ideally have you on the antibiotics for four hours so we anticipated delivery to happen sometime after 9:30.

I definitely made it longer into labor before asking for the epidural this time. At around 6:00 they started my epidural. I guess there are two ways to administer an epidural. One way goes into effect quicker but tends to have more side effects, which is what I had last time and I literally didn't feel a contraction again. This time the anesthesiologist wanted to go the safer route and it took thirty minutes and two dosage increases for my epidural to kick in. Once it kicked in, I was so happy for the break!

Unfortunately, the epidural couldn't keep up with how rapidly my labor progressed and I started feeling contractions again when my water broke right around 7:00. I had a really big contraction and pop! My water broke all over the bed.

Basically right after my water broke, my mom came with dinner for Dylan and her and two of my girlfriends came. I kept having to summon Dylan over so I could squeeze his hand when a contraction came. My contractions started coming every minute and a half or two minutes and were definitely strong enough to be felt through my epidural which had been increased several times and I even had an extra dose from the anesthesiologist.

My doctor came back in around 7:25, which was great since I had been asking where she was since I could feel the baby's head being ready to pop out. My girlfriends left when the doctor came in and my mom and Dylan stayed for delivery.

Once my doctor was settled, she told me to push once my contraction came. I had one big push and my doctor told me to slow down so I wouldn't tear. The next day she said she actually thought I was going to hit her in the face with the baby since my first push was so big. After less than one minute of pushing, at 7:31, Marshall Robert Otley slid into the world!


My epidural worked well enough since pushing and the couple little stitches I needed didn't hurt at all. My girlfriends were shocked when Dylan went out to tell them Marshall was born about 5 minutes after they left.



Marshall was 20 1/4 inches long and weighed 7 pounds 8 ounces.

We are so excited he made his big debut! He has been an excellent addition to our family already these first two weeks!

Pregnancy 2.0: Weeks 33-37

33 Weeks

Total failure and didn't get any pictures during week 33.

During week 33, my belly button officially popped out. Not a fan of having an outie, but I don't really have much choice in the matter! During my pregnancy with Vander, my belly button didn't officially pop out until the week I had Vander.

34 Weeks


One night the little guy was moving around like crazy when I was trying to go to bed, so I asked Dylan to sing to him and the baby was totally still while he was singing and then started moving again when he stopped. So cute!





I have had a little bit of swelling due to the heat, but nothing significant. I prefer running around without shoes anyways.

Getting dressed in general is my least favorite activity. The warm weather makes it easier since I can wear dresses and sandals, but the snowy days suck since I need to wear boots at least outside. I got a couple new dresses when I bought a new dress for our maternity photo shoot. I figured I have potentially six more weeks of struggling to find clothes to wear, so I might as well make it a little more pleasant.


35 Weeks

Failure again! Clearly I was one tired mom.

I had a delightful false labor. For about seven hours I was having contractions every four to fifteen minutes, but never consistent and they never really got stronger. The worst part is how distracting it is from work! It is hard enough to focus with a baby on my mind, but all of the physical interruptions don't help.  I mentioned this to my doctor and she decided to do a cervical check (a week earlier than normal) just to get a baseline and I was two centimeters dilated and 50% effaced. My doctor said she would be surprised if I made it to 38 weeks.

36 Weeks

After two weeks of feeling like I was going to go into labor at any point in time, I have now had several days where I feel like I am going to be pregnant forever.  I also have to remind myself that I had no idea I was going into labor with Vander when I got up that morning. I just get more uncomfortable by the day. It is so hard to move around, let alone play and interact with my busy boy Vander. 

Plus I am motivated to have this little guy while my sister is in town, March 7-11, if not before. While I have no medical backing since they legally have to use the dating ultrasound which put our due date at March 20th, I really do feel like using the last period date as the basis for my due date, March 12, is more appropriate. The 12 and 20 week ultrasounds put the baby 3 and 5 days ahead of the March 20th date, so basically right in between the two due dates. 

At my weekly doctor appointment, I am now measuring three centimeters, so at least some progress!

I fully packed the hospital bag and wrote out the couple items Dylan or I will need to grab to put in the bag when the time comes. 

37 Weeks

The carseat bases are installed in both cars and the carseat itself is clean. 

We are so completely ready. Ready for my heartburn and contractions to be done. Ready for our family to be complete. Ready to not be tired. Ready to be done waiting! 

I tried going on a walk with one of my friends at the mall since it isn't nice enough to go outside, to try to encourage this little guy to vacate. I told Dylan I was hoping to give him a really excited call that I was going into labor. I obviously had no luck. 


I asked Dylan how I was during labor last time, and he said overall I was really calm and easy going. That made me feel good about going into it all again. They say you block out most of the details of labor, so I wanted to double check with him to make sure I wasn't too crazy.


Last pictures of this pregnancy! These were taken at the hospital.


Plus a comparison photo of the last photo of my pregnancy with Vander and the second to last day of this pregnancy. 

Overall this pregnancy was comparable to my pregnancy with Vander. My doctor always said I am great at being pregnant. I definitely got uncomfortable with this pregnancy earlier, mostly due to the heartburn and contractions. Already having a child made a difference too, since I was definitely more tired and also struggled with wanting to play with Vander more but not being able to move easily. 

Next post: Baby Birth Story!
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